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Eclectic Creed Members Group

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Nolan White
Nolan White

I Wish You Were Here ^HOT^


During 1974, Pink Floyd sketched out three new compositions, "Raving and Drooling" (which would become "Sheep"), "You Gotta Be Crazy" (which would become "Dogs") and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".[nb 1][5] These songs were performed during a series of concerts in France and England, the band's first tour since 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon. As Pink Floyd had never employed a publicist and kept themselves distant from the press, their relationship with the media began to sour. Mason said later that a critical NME review by Syd Barrett devotee Nick Kent may have had an influence in keeping the band together, as they returned to the studio in the first week of 1975.[6]




I Wish You Were Here


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Wish You Were Here is Floyd's second album with a conceptual theme, mostly at Roger Waters' direction. It reflects his feeling that the camaraderie that had served the band was, by then, largely absent.[7] The album begins with a long instrumental preamble and segues into the lyrics for "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", a tribute to Syd Barrett, whose mental breakdown had forced him to leave the group seven years earlier.[8] Barrett is fondly recalled with lines such as "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun" and "You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon".[9]


Alan Parsons, EMI staff engineer for Pink Floyd's previous studio album, The Dark Side of the Moon, declined to continue working with them due to him starting his own group and working on their first album. The group had worked with engineer Brian Humphries on More, recorded at Pye Studios,[13] and again in 1974 when he replaced an inexperienced concert engineer.[14] Humphries was therefore the natural choice to work on the band's new material, although, being a stranger to EMI's Abbey Road set-up, he encountered some early difficulties. On one occasion, Humphries inadvertently spoiled the backing tracks for "Shine On", a piece that Waters and drummer Nick Mason had spent many hours perfecting, with echo. The entire piece had to be re-recorded.[10][15][16]


On 5 June 1975, on the eve of Pink Floyd's second US tour that year, Gilmour married his first wife, Ginger.[nb 2] That day, the band were completing the mix of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"[nb 3] when an overweight man with shaven head and eyebrows entered, carrying a plastic bag. Waters did not recognise him.[8] Gilmour presumed he was an EMI staff member.[22] Wright presumed he was a friend of Waters, but realised it was Barrett.[25] Mason also failed to recognise him and was "horrified" when Gilmour identified him. In Mason's Pink Floyd memoir Inside Out, he recalled Barrett's conversation as "desultory and not entirely sensible".[26] Cover artist Storm Thorgerson reflected on Barrett's presence: "Two or three people cried. He sat round and talked for a bit but he wasn't really there."[27]


As with The Dark Side of the Moon, the band used synthesizers such as the EMS VCS 3 (on "Welcome to the Machine"), but softened with Gilmour's acoustic guitar, and percussion from Mason.[10] The beginning of "Shine On" contains remnants from a previous but incomplete studio recording by the band known as "Household Objects". Wine glasses had been filled with varying amounts of fluid, and recordings were made of a wet finger circling the edge of each glass. These recordings were multi-tracked into chords.[7]


Jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli and classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin were performing in another studio in the building, and were invited to record a piece for the new album. Menuhin watched as Grappelli played on the song "Wish You Were Here"; however, the band later decided his contribution was unsuitable and, until 2011, it was believed that the piece had been wiped.[29][30] It turns out his playing was included on the album, but so low in the final mix that the band presumed it would be insulting to credit him.[31] He was paid 300 for his contribution (equivalent to 2,700 in 2023).[32][33] Saxophonist Dick Parry, who had performed on The Dark Side of the Moon, performed on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".[34] The opening bars of "Wish You Were Here" were recorded from Gilmour's car radio, with somebody turning the dial (the classical music heard is the finale of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony).[35]


The band played much of Wish You Were Here on 5 July 1975 at the Knebworth music festival. Roy Harper, performing at the same event, on discovering that his stage costume was missing, proceeded to destroy one of Pink Floyd's vans, injuring himself in the process. This delayed the normal setup procedure of the band's sound system. As a pair of World War II Spitfire aircraft had been booked to fly over the crowd during their entrance, the band were not able to delay their set. The result was that a power supply problem pushed Wright's keyboards completely out of tune, damaging the band's performance. At one point he left the stage, but the band were able to continue with a less sensitive keyboard, a piano and a simpler light show. Following a brief intermission, they returned to perform The Dark Side of the Moon, but critics displeased about being denied access backstage savaged the performance.[38][39]


The album's cover images were photographed by Aubrey "Po" Powell, Thorgerson's partner at the design studio Hipgnosis, and inspired by the idea that people tend to conceal their true feelings, for fear of "getting burned", and thus two businessmen were pictured shaking hands, one man on fire. "Getting burned" was also a common phrase in the music industry, used often by artists denied royalty payments. Two stuntmen were used (Ronnie Rondell and Danny Rogers), one dressed in a fireproof suit covered by a business suit. His head was protected by a hood, underneath a wig. The photograph was taken at Warner Bros. Studios in California, known at the time as The Burbank Studios.[41][42] Initially the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, and the flames were forced into Rondell's face, burning his moustache. The two stuntmen changed positions, and the image was later reversed.[43] The versions released on Harvest label (in Europe) and on Columbia label (among others, USA, Canada and Australia) use similar, but different photos from the photo session.[44]


Despite the problems during production, the album remained Wright's favourite: "It's an album I can listen to for pleasure, and there aren't many Floyd albums that I can."[8][78] Gilmour shares this view: "I for one would have to say that it is my favourite album, the Wish You Were Here album. The end result of all that, whatever it was, definitely has left me an al